2019 was a year of dominating hits and some other tunes that are just plain awesome. When I made my list, I was having a hard time whittling it down to just ten. It was a lot of "oh yeah! I love that one too!" So here we go with my top 10 of 2019.

10. Cody Johnson- "On My Way To You" 

Johnson self-released six albums, one actually debuted at number two on the Billboard Country Album chart, before he broke through to the big time this year with this single and his first mainstream album release Ain't Nothin' to It. Johnson has 2020 lined up as he will open up for Miranda Lambert, including on January 25th at the Ford Center in Evansville. He will be touring through the middle of next August.

9. Pink featuring Chris Stapleton-"Love Me Anyway" 

Pink, who is no stranger to the country music scene, co-wrote "Love Me Anyway" with Allen Shamblin ("Don't Laugh at Me", "The House That Built Me", "I Can't Make You Love Me") and Tom Douglas ("Little Rock", "The House That Bult Me", "Raise 'Em Up"). I've always loved how she crosses over so well. Chris Stapleton, who has collaborated with just about everybody by now, is the perfect supporting voice on this track.

8. Ingrid Andress-"More Hearts Than Mine"

28-year-old Ingrid Andress's path to the country charts started in the pop world, first with an appearance with her a cappella group Pitch Slapped on the NBC show The Sing-Off, which led a songwriting mentorship with former American Idol judge Kara DioGuardi, and then a move to Nashville writing songs for Sam Hunt, Alicia Keys, and Charli XCX. In 2020, Andress will join Dan + Shay on their first headlining tour and she'll be part of the line up for the "All for the Hall" concert in Nashville on February 10th. I see myself sometimes in this song because a break-up does involve more than just me.

7. Jon Pardi-"Heartache Medication"

Jon Pardi is one of the rare "country" singers out there today. Critics can shout from the rooftops country isn't country anymore, but don't tell Pardi that. His style invokes early George Strait and you can't get more country than that. He has a couple of hits under his belt, and he just keeps going. Virtually all of his tour dates next year will be at festivals and fairs, slow and steady can be known to win the race and build the fan base.

6. Trisha Yearwood- "Every Girl in This Town"

I'm sure Trisha Yearwood wouldn't want you to call it comeback, but I will. Fans have seen Yearwood cooking more in the past couple of years than singing, but timing is everything. The truth is, okay, she has never stopped singing. In 2016, she and husband Garth Brooks put out their first Christmas album together and last year, she put out an album of Frank Sinatra covers. This year, she released her first country solo album, Every Girl, in twelve years and this first single is a testament not only to her staying power but an anthem for literally "Every Girl in This Town".

5. Eric Church- "Monsters"

When I first heard "Desperate Man" last year, I was intrigued and a little bit worried. Again, Church's brand of country isn't what I would call traditional but it's very bold and experimental. The album has a lot of experimentation, but "Monsters" is not only simple but it's one of Chruch's best songs in years. Yes, "Some of It" falls in the same category. These songs aren't overly produced. Next March, Church will cross the pond for three dates in London, Glasgow, and Dublin.

4. Morgan Wallen- "Whiskey Glasses"

So I didn't know until this moment, as I'm writing this, that Morgan Wallen competed on The Voice, and he didn't win, wow. In 2019, not only did Wallen bring back the honest to goodness mullet, he had a massive hit with "Whiskey Glasses". It's true Luke Combs, who I'll talk about a little later, dominated the country landscape this year, Wallen's hit was both Billboard's Top Country Airplay Song and Top Hot Country Song of the year. On January 2nd, Wallen will kick off his own headlining tour in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

**3. The Highwomen- "Loose Change"

Okay, here's my "this song hasn't been on the charts yet" pick of the year. Oh my goodness, I love The Highwomen: Brandi Carlile, Maren Morris, Natalie Hemby, and Amanda Shires. Morris co-wrote and sings lead on "Loose Change" and I'm going to say it, this is the best song she's ever put out there. I'm hoping someday, as the song says, it will be a "lucky penny" and more people will hear it, and more people will hear The Highwomen. And here's to hope, though Morris will be a new mom in a couple of months, we'll get a full tour from these ladies in the near future.

2. Luke Combs- "Even Though I'm Leaving"

What else can be said about Luke Combs? He's an unlikely star who keeps knocking hits, albums, and tours out of the park. If there's a meeting between those who love country and those who love non-traditional country, they would have to agree on Combs's style, songwriting, and stage presence. It's a pure joy to watch.

1. Blake Shelton- "God's Country"

I've been known to put Blake at the top of my list, and this year, he's back at the top with a mini-comeback of what turned out to be a gigantic hit, "God's Country". It had been six years since Shelton had a song that topped both the Billboard Country Songs and Country Airplay Chart. He's come a long way since "Sure Be Cool If You Did". "God's Country" took home the CMA for Single of the Year and Shelton will find out on January 26th if he will take home the Grammy for Best Country Solo Performance.

So let the debate begin and who are you looking forward to hearing from or seeing in 2020?

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